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article imageDigital Journal TV: Harvard's Advice to Bloggers on AP Copyright Fiasco

By David Silverberg     Jun 19, 2008 in Internet
Associated Press wants to force bloggers and citizen journalists to pay to quote parts of their articles. The blogosphere is fighting back. We speak to the Harvard Citizen Media Project to find out what bloggers should do to protect themselves legally.
Digital Journal -- It's the PR disaster Associated Press never wanted: After it served a news site with takedown notices for quoting AP articles, a slew of blogs have boycotted the newswire service. AP claims bloggers and online writers are violating copyright by quoting parts of their articles. Blogs defend their use of quotes under the fair use law. Who's right?
This new media controversy is on the minds of anyone who writes online news or follows their favourite blog. AP is hoping to persuade blogs to pay for quotes, while bloggers want to quote AP articles freely, saying the referrals only help promote AP articles. As citizen journalist Sue D. pointed out, some bloggers are even calculating how much AP owes them for quoting writers without credit.
Harvard's Citizen Media Law Project offers bloggers and citizen journalists some guidance through its legal guide, but aside from that document there is little help online writers can get.
There is good reason to be confused: The fair use law isn't black-and-white because it often depends on context and article length. So if AP wants to charge or threaten lawsuits on bloggers, what should those bloggers and citizen journalists do to protect themselves? Is it too risky to quote from AP, even if the reference is a couple lines?
To help online writers and the public understand this controversy, Digital Journal TV investigates how AP managed to instigate the blogosphere into a massive boycott, why the new pricing plan is unreasonable and what bloggers can do to protect themselves.
More about Associated press, Blog, Copyright
 
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